I love celebrating the first day of a brand new year. It’s like taking out a clean white sheet of paper to draw a picture on or opening a brand new journal to begin writing - fresh, full of possibilities, waiting for you to create something beautiful.
It reminds me of Opening Day at Camp. There’s so much still ahead of us! Some people are nervous. Some people are excited. Lots of us are brimming with hopes and plans: Which bed you hope to get, what activities you want to take, what tribe you hope to be in, which gospel you’re going to read, what costume you’re going to wear on the 4th of July or DeSotopalooza, when you think the Alpine Dance is… There’s so much to look forward to! The anticipation of it all is so much fun, and it can get your thoughts swirling in all kinds of directions.
But you know my favorite part of Opening Day?
I know, can you believe it? There are so many fun things happening and I like Rest Hour. But let me tell you why. On Opening Day, all of us have been so busy getting ready - you’ve packed and repacked your trunk, driven up the mountain with your family, scurried around all morning to get your health check, your cabin assignment, your bed made, and all your forms in order. You’ve greeted friends and said goodbye to your parents and met a new counselor and run all around camp and barely taken a breath. But at rest hour, we all take a long deep breath together.
There’s no where else to be. No other fun thing is going on. Just this. To settle into your freshly-made bed and read a book or write your Mom and remind her what your counselor’s name is. To look around your cabin at the girls you will share this oh-so-fun month with. To perhaps draft your dream schedule so you can compare it to your friend’s (after the bell rings, of course!) At Rest Hour we all settle down to enjoy the simple, joyful truth that we are here. It has begun!
I hope that sometime in this New Year’s day you can take an Opening Day “rest hour” (or minute) to feel that same deep breath. Christmas was a rush of fun! Gifts and family and traveling and parties and plans. And now, on this brand new, blank-sheet-of-paper fresh, first day of the year, enjoy being here. A new year has begun! Look around at the people you’re going to share it with. Draft your dream schedule for the year and write down what you hope for. Take a beat to enjoy God’s love on this brand new day - the first day of a new week, a new month, and a new year.
Meanwhile, at Camp, we are doing the same thing - drawing in several deep breaths and looking forward to another year! We are so grateful for you, our Camp family, and we’re already getting excited about Opening Day 2017. The year is here! The countdown to the best day of the year has begun!